Google Tests Phone Numbers In AdWords Ads

A reader sent us a screen capture of a phone number being listed in the Google AdWords ad text. The phone number is not related to one of Google’s click-to-call features and didn’t seem to be related to a browser extension. Google confirmed that this is indeed something they are testing. A Google spokesperson told us:

We’re currently testing a feature with a small number of advertisers in which a phone number can be included within the ad to help them more effectively engage with customers who prefer to connect over the phone.

Here is a picture of the the phone number in the ad, just under the ad title, but just above the ad description.

Numbers in AdWords Ads

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • JaLee

    This would be great. Not only can this increase phone call conversions, but this also would be great for someone browsing on their android device or iPhone. This may provide a new way to reach those constantly on the go and with limited browsing time.

  • chiropractic

    Very interesting Barry. My gut says people would still be clicking on the ads so they can get an idea as to who they be doing business with. Will be interesting to see what the data shows. I think it will be a great addition for ad campaigns, especially if businesses could use a call track number in the ad, and a different call tracked number on the landing page. That way they can measure where the calls are coming from.

  • robertmiano

    Its great to have a the phone number of the business on the add so we/people can have quick response from the business rather then waiting for their mail and stuff

  • MadeWillis

    The potential downside that I see is a drop in CTR if people were to just call, thus the potential to hurt quality score and affect overall campaign performance. Obvioulsy this would vary based on the products you sell/offer and the need for the customer to call vs. taking action online.

  • microddot

    I hope they have an opt-in / opt-out for this feature when it is available everywhere. The CTR could drop off and cost some ppl some money.

  • Stupidscript

    MadeWillis: CTR can be sacrificed for direct contact from a potential customer. It’s always a much stronger presentation coming from a human being than from a web page.

    I hope this becomes a real feature because it will free up characters in our ads for more sales text that are now taken up by our phone number. Gaining extra signage space seems like a good thing, to me. I only hope it doesn’t confuse the landscape too much.

  • sethrand

    Other keyword examples including “florida home improvement” and “extended auto warranty” and “pressure sensitive labels”. At least for now, while it is at no additional charge to the advertiser, I think it will at the very least improve the advertisers ROI.

  • Jason at RingRevenue

    This is another great move by Google. Supporting the advertiser’s ability to display a phone number is better for the consumer, the advertiser, and Google. To the comments above, Google itself told analyst Greg Sterling earlier this year (mentioned in another SEL article) that CTRs actually go up when phone numbers are included in an ad – between 5 and 30 percent. I see similar results with our affiliate network and agency partner clients, many of whom are seeing click-through lift on their online campaign initiatives (search, display, content posts, social media, etc.) when a phone number is included in the ad. From a consumer standpoint, it’s not very easy to complete a purchase on the mobile device, and often there are questions involved that are more easily answered during a phone conversation. Getting consumers on the phone is often key, as is being able to track the effectiveness of the phone calls for the advertiser or affiliate who’s running the ad. Today’s technologies do allow for very specific call tracking, so advertisers can easily see what works and what doesn’t.

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